Has love become obsolete lately?

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Yesterday I was traveling by train to the end of Europe to visit the ocean and I was sitting next to a beautiful African woman and her daughter. The daughter asked her mother how she can conquer a young man she loves very much.
The mother asked: Does he love you too?
The daughter: I don’t think so. He doesn’t even notice me.
The mother: That’s sad! In this case, use money, it works faster and easier.
The young girl gazed at her mother surprised: Do you mean to pay him to love me?
With a sincere smile, the mother replied: Of course, sweetheart. You don’t have enough time to waste. Life is short, believe me. Don’t waste your time trying to convince people to feel or to think like you. You can simply buy his love, consume this story and move on to the next story where things will probably be the other way round. To love somebody that loves you back is rare. Sometimes it happens though.
The daughter was confused, irritated and had a hateful look in her eyes. Was that her mother advising her?

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The mother noticed her daughter’s expression and went on: Love, hatred, envy, jealousy are feelings that we carry like huge pieces of luggage and when we get tired, we try to burden the others with them. We say: “Take my love, unburden me and as long as you host it, dance like a monkey, do as I say.” Isn’t that right, my dear? You’d like him to carry your dreams, your love, your desires… Then, you will get scared not to lose him. Do you know why? Because he’ll be caring your assets, and you won’t be afraid of losing him, you’ll be afraid you won’t know where your luggage is. Because you invested him to carry a burden that does not belong to him but to you. You think that love is a valuable thing, which you can deposit on another person as if that person was a Swiss bank where you put your values and you want them back with interest.
The daughter: How did you end up like this, mother?
The mother: Wasting too much time trying to use the same currency. To get the most out of this life, you have to move fast. Know the circumstances and act quickly. Don’t hate me for what I’m telling you, you have no time for hatred and I’m not going to carry your hatred on my shoulders so, don’t even try to burden me with your hatred.
The mother’s command was harsh and the daughter swiftly jumped into another topic. I was wondering if love has become obsolete lately. I liked the woman’s speech, it was straight and powerful and, broadly speaking, she was right. Any feeling, no matter how much we attach to it, consume too much energy and, after all, the only thing that matters is the way we sort out a situation. Better to chase the problem, not the emotion and get to the point while we enjoy the beautiful feeling of love.

Mulato

What if we don’t exist and we are dreamt by someone else?

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“I got into my car, which was parked in front of the gate and drove to the nearby gas station. I turned on the music and only a few miles later I remembered to turn on the headlights. I was talking to myself.
Me: Why the hell does this keep happening to me? I cannot get this Tibetan out of my mind and I swear, I swear, I swear I didn’t come here for a love story!
My hands were sweating and my driving was awful. I parked badly, occupying two spots at the gas station where I stopped to buy my whiskey. I took it after I paid with the card and I entered the wrong PIN number twice. The third time I got it right and I managed to pay and I was ready to leave when a spectacular blonde stepped into the store. She was about 20 years old, accompanied by a mulatto, about the same age as her companion. I heard them talking and I found out the blonde’s name was Julia and the other was Anna.
Listening to their dialogue, I became interested in the topic of their conversation and I started studying the offers on the shelves.
Anna: Julia, think about it! What if we don’t exist and we are dreamt by someone else?
Julia: What went wrong again, Anna?
Anna: Listen! We dream, right? And in our dreams, there are characters we’ve never seen before. They have a life of their own, actions and words. We also help them when we don’t like the dream.
Julia: Do you mean God is dreaming us?
Anna: I didn’t say God, I said someone. A great one who maybe sleeps for fifty thousand light years, and for another fifty thousand light years he is awake.
Julia: He should dream of a bigger salary for me.
Anna: We would be in his dreams like the smaller ones in ours. We have a universe and we create a micro-universe in our dreams. The ones we dream of also have dreams in which their own characters create a micro-micro-universe.
Julia: And our dreamer is dreamt by someone else, bigger, in a macro-macro-cosmos. Take an onion, for example. You peel down a layer and it’s still an onion.
Anna: You can compare it to a cabbage.
Julia: An onion!
Anna: Onions smell and sting.
Julia: So what? They’re built on the same principle. You peel the layers one by one, and nothing remains.
Anna: The onion-cabbage is gone, but it’s still there.
Julia: Even if nothing exists…
Anna: It does!
Julia: How can it exist if we are dreamt?
Anna: Every person who is dreamt of builds a material reality.
Julia: But it’s not reality if we are dreamt!
Anna: Yes, it is! It’s a concrete virtual reality! Like those who have virtual sex! Physically, they get a hard-on, in reality, they want to have sex, but it’s virtual because it takes place in one’s imagination.
The girls go out of the shop and I follow them. Anna receives a message on her cell phone and she reads it.
Anna: We’ve been invited to a wedding, Julia!
Julia: Who’s getting married?
Anna: It doesn’t say! Look: “You are invited to the wedding, Friday, at 8 o’clock, 99 Dream Street”.
Julia: Friday at 8 o’clock? It’s Friday, and it’s already 7:30! Your dreamer dreamed an SMS and sent it randomly! Friday, at 8 o’clock, Dream Street… Dream?! I told you! Who else did you intoxicate with your philosophy?
Anna: It’s a coincidence, Julia! Come on, let’s go, please!
Julia: Anna, sweetheart! Who invites you to a wedding half an hour before it’s scheduled to begin? Have you lost your mind? Weddings are announced a month earlier, people prepare, they cook, they go to church… Weddings are part of those boring, well-organized activities. Some couples even have rehearsals!
A taxi stops in front of them. Tenam is behind the wheel. What the hell? I look at the bottle in my hand and it’s unopened. Something is wrong. I walk closer to the taxi, and the three seem to not see me. I open the front door and Tenam looks at the two girls without communicating with me at all.
Me: Tenam?!
No answer. I get into the taxi and sit in the passenger seat. It’s incredible what’s going on and I refuse to lose my mind. Anna tries to convince Julia to get into the taxi.
Anna: Get in! Humor me and get in!
Julia gets in the taxi, followed by Anna. The music is blasting from inside the car. Tenam drives off nauseatingly fast.
Julia: (yelling) Turn the music off!
Tenam: Did you say something, blondie?
Julia: You are no longer my friend!
Anna: What did you say?
Julia: Jesus Christ! Stop the Goddam music!
Tenam: Did you say something, blondie?
Julia: Stop the caaaar!
The car and the music stop. The doors open by themselves, the girls get out, I’m thrown out of the car by an unseen force, and Tenam drives away. The two girls look around at the unfamiliar space, puzzled. I am with them, but they cannot see me. We turn around in all directions, looking for a trace of civilization. We are surrounded by mountains. Julia slaps Anna and Anna responds similarly.
Anna: Are you on your period?
Julia: Only you could get me in a car with such an idiot!
Anna: What did I do? I took a taxi!
Julia: Look where we are!
Anna takes Julia by the hand and starts to drag her with her. I keep up with them. We walk for a long time until we see Tenam’s house in the distance.
Julia: Where are we going?
Tenam: (from nowhere) South, blondie!
We freeze, then Julia breaks the silence.
Julia: Move your big ass!
Anna: (trying her phone) I hate you!
From a distance, we hear a sharp whistling sound. Out of nowhere, it starts pouring. All three of us start running toward Tenam’s house, Anna and Julia soaking wet, I completely dry. A functional lantern hangs on the door of the house.
Julia: It’s the only light around here.
Anna: Anybody home?
Julia: With our proverbial luck, I think we’ll run into Gore inside.
They want to knock at the door but the door opens by itself. Anna jumps and hugs Julia.
Anna: I’m petrified!
Julia: You’re wet! Get off of me!
Anna starts running in the opposite direction.
Julia: Where are you going, crazy? Have you completely lost it?
Anna stops and puts on a foolhardy face, starts walking back with a steady gait, passes by Julia, slams the door against the wall and walks into the house.
Julia walks behind Anna, who has a hero-like attitude and looks around. The door closes behind them. I open the door, walk in normally and I find that no one notices my presence.
Anna: (almost no voice) Hey! Anybody home?
They stop and look at the house. Then, the girls start to move slowly, studying the house in the dark. Anna bangs against a table and lets out a cry.
Julia: Turn on the light!
Tenam, standing idly by, watches, motionless. A chess board is set up on the table, and a huge tomcat jumps up on the board, without disturbing the pieces. I had no idea Tenam had a cat or that he was also a taxi driver. I must have drunk the whole whiskey bottle, and now I’m sleeping in a ditch, dreaming. This can’t be happening.
Julia: Switch on the light! What the hell!
Julia stares at a fixed point, while Anna turns on the light.
Tenam: I’ve been expecting you!
Anna’s courage disappears and begins to pull back to the door, with Julia behind her, who is now glued to her.
Anna: How did you know we were coming?
Tenam points his finger at the cat sitting on the chess board. They want to open the door but it’s stuck. They start to scream desperately, trying to get out.
Tenam: Such horror a living man brings to other living people?
Anna is hysterical and Julia cannot talk anymore.
Anna: He’s insane! You hear me? He’s insane, we have to get out of here!
Julia keeps nodding, looking at Anna with her eyes wide open.
Anna: Say something! Julia!
Julia: (whispers) Isn’t he the idiot taxi driver?
Anna: Is he? He can’t be!
Anna shakes the door handle with hysterical energy, while Julia curls up at her feet. With her hair fluttering from the effort she puts in opening the door, Anna turns around and runs into Tenam. In the other side of the house, there is a loud bang.
Anna: Has anyone else entered the house?
Tenam: It’s the wind! It slammed the porch door!
Julia: Sir, please don’t hurt us. We just came in to make a phone call…
Anna: To call a taxi. You know, we’re lost…
Tenam: We are dealing with a serious problem. Take a seat! My cat’s rats chewed the telephone line. I could give you a lift but they had my license suspended. What for? Failing to give way, running a red light, drunk driving, drug trafficking, murder, sexual harassment, deprivation of liberty and rape.
The girls scream and leap towards the door which doesn’t want to open. Tenam laughs amused and heads for them, but they desperately run to the other side. Tenam opens the door wide and goes to the girls.
Tenam: Come on, get undressed!
The girls run to the door, which suddenly closes and the handle locks.
Tenam: Get undressed!
Tenam grabs some dry clothes from a closet.
Julia: Dumb bitch! It’s your fault!
Anna: Why me? What did I do?
Tenam: (throws them the dry clothes): Come on, girls, you’ll catch a cold!”

Buy “The Training of Joy” on Amazon, available in paperback or e-book formats. It will be an entertaining story or a beautiful gift for a friend as it is high quality book thanks to the printing departament of Amazon.

A Saturnist Being

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“I am a Saturnist being. One day for me lasts a whole week. Should I transform the world into my image and likeness? Just so I also can feel comfortable around here. People wake up Monday morning, they go to work for eight hours, then they have a hobby, and besides all this, they take their children to the kindergarten and walk the dog. I wake up at noon on Monday, I get dressed on Tuesday, on Wednesday I walk the dog, Thursday and Friday I work and on Saturday I get naked so I can sleep all day Sunday. I should go back to Saturn.”

Buy “The Training of Joy” on Amazon, available in paperback or e-book formats. It will be an entertaining story or a beautiful gift for a friend as it is high quality book thanks to the printing departament of Amazon. You will also help Tibetan refugees children located in India as the author donates 60% of the royalties to support this cause.

 

It is a Matter of Choice on which Part of our Lives we Place the Accent

 

Hello everyone,

My name is Sandra Sanada and I wrote this book, the novel I named ”The Training of Joy”. It’s a very special novel for me and it holds a lot of my own experience though I believe it’s your experience as well. We are all living in a world surrounded by all sorts of disasters and we start to believe life is a never ending struggle. We are even afraid of happiness believing something bad would happen to us if we allow ourselves to be happy. And many times, our belief proves itself true. We are not trained to be happy and when we experience this feeling, we feel strange and we cannot control ourselves. We shake, we are very nervous, we panic or we are over-enthusiastic, and our bodies cope hardly with this overwhelming state of mind, leading to the many accidents or bad events associated with the intense state of happiness.

Because we are truly surrounded by a lot of bad news, a lot of drama, many problems, illnesses and so on, we start to believe, being unhappy it’s the normal state of the mind.

When we analyze our lives thoroughly, we notice there aren’t as many problems as we think and every one of us has many reasons to be happy, it’s just that we have to become conscious of it and allow happiness to manifest. This book is a novel, firstly. It’s a love story between a pilot woman and a Tibetan air traffic controller but it’s also a guide of how we can give up living in sorrow and start living in joy.

It is well known that Tibetans brought into the world a real treasure. When they left Tibet, unfortunately against their will, they spread everywhere and shared their beautiful mental principles with the rest of the world. One of the principles they practice in life is the training of the states of joy and happiness of the mind. I had the chance to meet a Tibetan who shared with me some of his culture and taught me how to become happy through training and a few Buddhist techniques.

I’ve learned that it is a matter of choice after all, on which part of our lives we place the accent.

It is painful to see how easy it is for all of us to talk about our misfortunes and how quickly we pass over the good news, over the beautiful events of our lives. I’m sure you know what I am talking about and if you don’t, analyze how you present your life to your friends, how often do you complain and how often do you bring to the fore what makes you happy in any realm of your life? How often do you talk highly about your partner, your job, the way you look, and so on? Is it a habit to emphasize the accomplishments or do you like to analyze the shortcomings and to complain about what you lack? One of the traps we all fell into is the irony regarding the people who talk up about themselves and we all have been educated not to brag about our accomplishments. However, we shouldn’t let ourselves be fooled by this. To brag about something is one thing and to be conscious about accomplishments and to emphasize them, it’s another thing. At least for our mental hygiene, it’s important and necessary to highlight the bright events of our lives and to isolate the dark ones, to keep them to a minimum and to melt them, dissolve them, break them into little pieces until we can turn them into something positive.

Turn on the radio, the TV, read the newspapers and see how many good news you read comparing to the disasters. I don’t try to say that we shouldn’t be preoccupied by the suffering in the world, we should, and more we should help to heal the world, but first we should heal ourselves, learn to choose from our lives events, the good ones and build a happy life based on those good moments. As long as we focus our attention on the dark events, we’ll always be unhappy, but when we learn to insist on the best moments we live and keep the shadows at their minimum we do only one thing, we place the accent of the story on different events and rewrite the same story, with a brighter outcome and a happy ending.

This book is already published on Amazon in both formats, paperback and e-book. Please check the link bellow and see if you’d like to read “The Training of Joy”

Bardo Thödol – The Tibetan Book of the Dead

Tibet has captured the imagination of many people from all walks of life. It’s the land of wisdom, of snow, of beautiful monasteries where men and women explored and perfected what being human was all about. In Tibet lies one of the most outstanding cultures in Asia but this country remained closed to the foreigners for centuries due to both physical and political barriers.

Buddhism, the true religion of peace, entered Tibet in the 7th century and the Tibetans have dedicated themselves to its peaceful non-violent teachings and created a society based on the realization that true everlasting happiness has nothing to do with materialism. The most respected individuals are the enlightened, not the wealthy.
In 1959, the Dalai Lama, along with several tens of thousands of monks, fled Lhasa to escape the Chinese who took over the Tibetan territory under the pretext that it belonged to them. Not a single word from the Dalai Lama or the other monks calls for preaching. On the contrary, whenever the Dalai Lama is asked how a person can become a Buddhist, he invariably has the same answers. It is not at all necessary, each one must follow his own religion which will direct him to the same discoveries.

Along with the Dalai Lama and the monks who were forced into exile, a lot of wisdom and a magical culture was brought into the world. One of the most fascinated books that came from Tibet is “Bardo Thödol”, which in the Tibetan language means “Liberation in the Intermediate State Through Hearing” also called “The Tibetan Book of the Dead”. This book is a funerary text read to ease the consciousness of a recently deceased person through death and assist it into a favorable rebirth.

A central principle of belief of all schools of Buddhism is that attachment to and craving for worldly things brings suffering and unease, which influence actions whose accumulated effects, or karma, bind individuals to the process of death and rebirth. Those who have attained enlightenment are thereby released from this process, attaining liberation. Those who remain unenlightened are drawn by karma, whether good or bad, into a new life in one of six modes of existence: as a sufferer in hell, enduring horrible torture, as a wandering ghost, driven by insatiable craving, as an animal, ruled by instinct, as a demigod, lustful for power, as a human being, balanced in instinct and reason or as a god, deluded by their long lives into believing they are immortal.

The concept of bardos, the intermediate or transitional states, mark an individual’s life from birth to death and rebirth. The period between death and rebirth lasts 49 days and involves three bardos. The first is the moment of death itself. The consciousness of the newly deceased becomes aware of and accepts the fact that it has recently died, and it reflects upon its past life. In the second bardo, it encounters frightening apparitions. Without an understanding that these apparitions are unreal, the consciousness becomes confused and, depending upon its karma, may be drawn into a rebirth that impedes its liberation. The third bardo is the transition into a new body.

During the bardo between life and death, the consciousness of the deceased can still understand words and prayers spoken on its behalf, which can help it to navigate through its confusion and be reborn into a new existence that offers a greater chance of attaining enlightenment. Reciting of “Bardo Thödol”, usually performed by a Lama, a religious teacher, begins shortly before death if possible and continues throughout the 49-day period leading to rebirth.

I came across this book after three deaths occurred during a very short period of time. My grandmother, my mother-in-law and also my first flight instructor died. And above all my divorce happened at the same time. I might say it was a sad time. Because I was flying and I had friends in aviation I had the chance to meet an air traffic controller of Tibetan origin, Tenam. I told him about my readings from “Bardo Thödol” and went to visit him. He told me that maybe these three persons who died experienced the real bardos, between death and a new rebirth but I was the one experiencing a bardo happening in life, between sadness and joyfulness.

“Tenam: Buddhism focuses on the mind, speaking about how one can take possession of his mind and master it. Once you can control your mind you will be able to control your body as well. To know if you’re ready to die, do an exercise. Switch off your phone, disconnect your computer and go somewhere in solitude, like now, for example. If you are haunted by what you left behind, or the fear that someone won’t be able to find you, then you have unfinished business and you are not ready to die. Sometimes, you will hear people looking for you, telepathically, on frequencies which use waves other than the telephone. If you feel you’re getting restless and you have the urge to turn on your phone and talk to that person, then I tell you the story is not finished. If you hear, but you don’t want to act, it means that from your point of view it is sorted out, but from the point of view of the other person, it’s not. This way, I can also explain the wrath or desires following the dead in the intermediary state. Now, tell me, should one get ready for departure or not? The changing or “Bardo”, we pass through while we are alive, must be treated in the same manner. When you move to another city, when you divorce, when you change your job or hobby, if you don’t solve all your problems beforehand, you will shift between the past and the future and it is a huge waste of energy. If you are attached to any place in the past, you can move as far as the leash allows. This happens if you have a parent or, in case of divorce, a child, or a dog. Your decisions are not entirely real, they depend on a reference point in the past. The departure, the death, the separation must be prepared in light of these factors. This is the meaning of living in the present, of lack of attachments, to be able to move easily, to be flexible and fluid.”

Sandra Sanada

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